Leonard and Renee Minsky Fund for Arts Education (Penobscot and Washington counties)

Grant Size: Up to six grants (maximum of $1,000 each)

Application Deadline: December 15

Recent Grants from the Leonard and Renee Minsky Fund for Arts Education

General Information

The Leonard and Renee Minsky Fund for Arts Education supports artists in residence to work with teachers to bring arts into the classrooms of grades three through five in the public schools of Penobscot and Washington Counties.

Recognizing the important role the arts can play in a school’s curriculum, the donors established this fund to encourage teachers in grades three through five to work with professional artists to bring the arts into the classroom and, in addition, to integrate a variety of art forms into the standard curriculum. The Minsky Fund challenges classroom teachers to explore innovative approaches to meet the following basic guidelines:

•    The teaching artist(s) work(s) with all the students in the grade(s) participating in the project

•    The teaching artist(s) work(s) with all the participating teachers to explore the integration of the arts into the standard curriculum. If agreed upon by the artist and teachers, other interested faculty may also participate.

Each year the Minsky Fund will award as many as six grants, up to a maximum of $1,000 each. The application process involves a simple two-page project proposal, which addresses the following: anticipated benefits; timeline and milestones; possible barriers; and a use-of-funds budget. To further simplify the process, application submission and much of the communication will be completed by email.

Possible Resources for Artist Referrals

Classroom teachers who have ideas about possible arts education units and need assistance in connecting with appropriate professional artists, please consider talking with the following:

Grant Guidelines

Teachers will work with professional artists from the visual and/or performing arts, including but not limited to film, video, and other media, theater arts, music, dance, and creative writing. Together, the teacher and teaching artists will design a program in which teachers and students will learn through participating in the art form. The artist will also work with the teachers to develop a unit that will incorporate the arts in a meaningful way, helping the school to meet the Maine Learning Results for Visual and/or Performing Arts. 

Eligibility Requirements

All public school teachers for grades three through five in Washington County and Penobscot County are eligible for consideration. Although not required, teachers of the three grades are encouraged to work collaboratively to present one arts education unit, and elementary schools with enrollments of 100 or fewer students are encouraged to present one arts education unit for the school. 

If there is an arts teacher in a related field on staff, that teacher should participate in the design and implementation of the project.

At least 75% of the funds awarded should be budgeted to the teaching artist’s fees. The funds should be expended within the current academic year unless an extension is given by the Maine Community Foundation.

How to Apply

Complete the Minsky Fund for Arts Education application. Applications must be submitted via email to minsky@mainecf.org and must be received by December 15 to be considered for funding.

When to Apply

Applications will be accepted beginning in September and until December 15.  All decisions will be announced in early January and awards will be mailed in mid-January. Applicants will receive notice of receipt of the application and of the committee's final decision.


All grant recipients will be required to submit an completion form evaluation report upon completion of the project and no later than the end of the current academic year. The evaluation will describe how students and teachers have learned from the arts education unit, how the arts have been integrated into the curriculum, and how the project has helped the school further the Maine Learning Results for Visual and/or Performing Arts. Future funding may be contingent upon submission of this report.

If you have questions or would like to discuss an idea before submitting a proposal, please feel free to contact Cherie Galyean via email or by phone at (207) 412-2017.